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Flag Football: Football Minus the Pain

Because many people love to play football but not all people enjoy the pain and sometimes injury of rough tackles, flag football is a very popular alternative. Flag football is the game most often played in intramural college leagues, and groups of friends often play flag football or a variation when they get together for a game on a weekend. In most aspects, flag football is just like traditional football. The primary difference is that no tackles are allowed, so size or strength are not really factors in the games. This modification of the rules allows all ages and sexes to play football together without the worry of getting hurt.

Modifications in Flag Football

Due to the minor differences of flag football, there are some rules that are not the same as traditional football. The first most obvious rule is that each player must wear a flag-belt around his or her waist that is not secured improperly (meaning that it can easily be tugged off). The rules of flag football stipulate that a play is stopped when and where an opposing team’s player tugs off the flag belt of the person running or throwing the ball. Generally, to make sure that a team is not cheating by unfairly making the flag-belt more strongly secured (i.e. harder or impossible to pull off), after a touchdown is completed, the referee will pull off the flag belt of the player responsible for the touchdown to ensure that it will come off when pulled.

As a result of the importance of the flag-belt and the prevention of aggression and violence in the game, players typically cannot wear pads, hard cleats, shirts or jerseys that are untucked, or pants with pockets, belt loops, belts, or drawstrings. Each team is allowed to have seven players but the team can play with as few as five. Play is for forty-four minutes, divided in two twenty-two minute halves.

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